By Lucas Johnson
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover outlined new initiatives she says will continue a “legacy of excellence” at the 104-year-old institution.
Dr. Glover held a press conference on Oct. 14 during Homecoming week to discuss Impact 20/20, which includes new governance, academic excellence, and capital improvement and infrastructure enhancements.
“This is an exciting time for TSU as we celebrate a legacy of pride and progress,” said Glover, referring to this year’s Homecoming theme.
In the area of governance, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced two days earlier the eight appointees to the newly created TSU state governing board, which aims to give the university – and the other four-year state institutions – increased autonomy to support student success as the state continues an initiative to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or credential by 2025.
“We are pleased with the men and women the governor has selected, and look to the leadership of the full General Assembly to approve them,” Glover said.
She also announced TSU is raising its admission standards and enhancing student success initiatives to increase retention and graduation rates. Beginning the fall of 2017, all students must have a 2.5 GPA and a 19 on the ACT for admission to TSU. The previous admission scores were 2.25 or a 19 on the ACT for in-state students, and a 2.5 or 19 ACT for out-of-state students.
“We’re glad that we’re raising the bar here at Tennessee State University,” said Student Government Association President Aarian Forman. “We want to continue to be an institution of great quality. I think the new admission standards will help further this agenda to help us do that.”
The academic component also includes an Executive MBA Program offered through the College of Business next year, as well as establishment of TSU centers for Social Justice and Equality; Economic Policy Institute; Law Enforcement Education; a Center of Excellence for Ethics; and Emergency Management Institute.
As for capital improvement and infrastructure enhancement, Glover announced construction of a new Health Sciences building, as well as plans for new residence halls, an on-campus stadium, and a project that will encompass more than 80 acres along the Cumberland River.
“With a mixed use concept, Cumberland City will be an educational, technology, health, commercial, and residential engine that will allow TSU to be a major participant in the economic boom that is Nashville,” Glover said.
In 2012, TSU contributed $610 million to the Nashville economy, statistics show.
“We’re very proud of the economic value that Tennessee State University brings to the city and to the state,” said state Rep. Brenda Gilmore, whose district includes TSU.
Joni McReynolds, president of TSU’s National Alumni Association, agreed.
“We are so proud of the things TSU is doing, and we’re going to be here to sponsor you, and help raise money,” she said.
Glover also emphasized during the press conference that TSU is continuing to strengthen campus security.
“New Police Chief Greg Robinson has been dedicated to bringing additional enhancement to our Police Department,” she said. “Public safety is paramount, and we will treat it as such.”